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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.
Baltic Sea Sand-Tallinn, Estonia Beach Through the Microscope

Baltic Sea Sand at Tallinn, Estonia

This is a garnet grain. The beach sand at Tallinn is primarily quartz grains about 100 micrometers in diameter. These grains have been separated from the bulk sand using LST (Lithium heteropolytungstate) and mounted in Melt Mount, 1.704 refractive index. The higher density of garnet relative to quartz result in the garnet particles at this location being smaller than the quartz particles.

Transmitted Oblique Off Crossed Circular Polarized Light


Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

these grains are pink and have a refractive index well above 1.704.

Associated Particles:


Greenberg, Gary, A GRAIN OF SAND: NATURE'S SECRET WONDER, Voyageur Press, 2008.

Welland, Michael, SAND: THE NEVER ENDING STORY, University of California Press, 2009.
(Good Information on the microscopy of sand, Great site for more information on microscopy in general)
(Good Information on Sand with links to more information on sand),com_mediadb/task,play/idstr,Open-feeds_fsc_exploring_sedimentary_processes_fsc02_02_m4v/vv,-2/Itemid,97
(Brief, very informative video on what can be learned from the shape of a sand grain.)